Takemoto lives in a run down student apartment, where his greatest worry is when he'll next be able to afford to eat meat and whether he'll get to class on time. Although he's away from home and living on his own, Takemoto is far from finished growing up. Along with his crazy cast of friends, Morita, Mayama, Yamada, and Hagumi, Takemoto sets out to discover life and his true self.
(Source: VIZ Media)
Volume 10: Sora no Kotori, Hoshi no Opera
Hachimitsu to Clover won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award in shoujo category in 2007.
The series started serialization in CUTiE Comic magazine (chapters 1-14), and after suspension of the magazine, moved to Young You (chapters 15-56), and the last 8 chapters were published in Chorus (chapters 57-64).
The series was published in English as Honey and Clover by VIZ Media under the Shojo Beat imprint from March 4, 2008 to June 1, 2010.
If you’re reading these lines you’re wasting time you could have spent reading one of the best manga’s out there. But if you insist you can read my review first and then read Honey & Clover…
Honey & Clover popped up many times on my radar, but I never started it. I just thought it was another school Manga with a loli complex. Gosh was I wrong.
The story plays in an art university and being a student myself I could easily relate to the situation. If I had to cut it down, it’s really about a bunch of Students and their close surrounding. As boring as
school sounds it is a time you’ll never forget and Honey & Clover somehow manages to get exactly this into a story. Projects due to tomorrow, all-nighters, pressure, love, friendship and so on. And with just that you have a story you wish would never end.
The Art is very soft. Nothing is drawn as clean or perfect as possibl. The Art is there to emphasise the moment in the Manga. If the story focuses on the scenery in the background, you have a beautiful background. If the characters and what they think is important, you know it without reading the text. The way everything is drawn is to convey something and not to take your attention away. Although sometimes you will fall of your chair laughing because of some hilarious facial expressions.
I would have given Story and Art 10/10 but then there would have been no difference between them and the characters in this manga. Because these characters are so lifelike you can always relate to them and their situations. When they go through hardship and come out stronger on the other side you easily get some wisdom for your life too (At least that’s what I’m telling myself 02:00 in the morning before a big test…). You may call me forever alone, or sad or whatever, but not reading this manga every day is like not seeing some of your friends regularly and after finishing it you’ll miss them dearly.
I have never enjoyed any written word or drawn thing as much as this manga, so yeah I did enjoy it quite a lot. There were situations when I had to bury my face in the pillow or otherwise my laughter would have woken the neighbours. Just yesterday I was in the bus reading but couldn’t go on because it was such an emotional scene that the bus didn’t seem to be the right place for it. And many times, especially in the end I had shivers running down my spine. I could go on like, but I’ll spare you from that ^^
Overall a 10/10. Pick it up, read one or two chapters and try to leave it at that. Just don’t start during exam time or something like that, I warned you. You can’t hold me responsible for that :P
This is an oddly enjoyable manga. It's very simple and basic, the drawings just plain, clean lines, But something addicts you to reading it. It's a fun manga, barely any deep feelings, But then, when there are, It's described so thoroughly and whole-heartedly it makes you cry. (unless it's something happy being described)it's hilarious too. I can't stop laughing when i read this.
SPOILER (Sort of)
there's this part where one of the main characters builds a tower thing for his grad project, and the teachers stand there and are like "it's good but.." so the guys friend takes a piece of wood and makes up a
name for the tower and writes it in marker and props it up against the tower and then, suddenly the teachers are like" OMG this is amazing. It deserves an A, how the name looks so so thrown together, almost shabby makes it a masterpiece!!!!" :)
one of my favorite manga and my biggest inspiration!
story - it's not just typical slice of life, every chapter left something for us to learn and the story is realistic, especially when you are uni or college students. also don't forget the comedic situations and the expression! this manga will make you laugh like crazy, and the next chapter you bawl like a baby.
art - at first it's a bit rough, but gets even better. I don't know how to say it but I can feel the warmth of the drawing and it looks so soft.
character - every characters feel so real and can relate
to. Takemoto the ordinary guy who is still clueless about his future, Morita the carefree guy who loves doing crazy things and cares a lot for his friends, Mayama the mature guy who fell in love with an older woman, Hagu the genius artist but a shy one (and tiny cute), and Ayumi the girl who has unrequited love for her best friend. we can see them grow in every chapter, and by the end of the manga, you will feel like you just parted with your best friends.
enjoyment - I enjoy this a lot and I already watched the anime 3 times, and read the manga 2 times. whenever I feel like I miss the characters, I just read or watch it over again.
Honey and Clover is a manga that makes it really hard for me to pin down how I feel about it. It's a story packed full of love but no romance, is full of development yet things feel stagnant, and has characters that feel realistic but at the same time unbelievable.
The story follows primarily a group of 6 residents in a small house at an art school. The manga as a whole is then split up to follow each of the six characters as they learn to deal with their own personal struggles of love, talent and purpose. It's honestly a little
confusing because characters will leave and show up again a bit randomly as the story progresses to leave room to develop another main character, but it's understandable as to why the author did this. So many different themes are tackled in this one piece of art that it's difficult to take in without actually sitting down and thinking through it all. Half of the cast deals with talent or the lack thereof and the freedoms it can give or take away, a third of the cast deals with unrequited love and the consequences of striving for it, and one member must deal with the issues of the past and facing the future. Each one of these plots was very well done and gave more or less of a satisfying ending by the last chapter.
The characters within the manga are also great. Each of them have their own dreams and aspirations, fears and doubts, all to the point where they feel very realistic. The web of relationships between the characters when they are alone or in a group are well fleshed out. Even the side characters are brimming with personality, with some becoming pseudo-main characters. Watching each character go on their own journey throughout the manga is definitely the highlight and the main focus of it all, and it is exciting to see where they finally end up.
Now with all that being said, why is this not rated any higher? It's mostly due to some personal gripes I have with the manga, but you might find them to be not as important. The first issue I have is that the beginning is really slow. Now granted, with a character drama of this scale you have to provide the right setup in order to have a good final payout, but for me, I didn't start to get into the story until the halfway point. That's a pretty long setup if you ask me, so it took away from my enjoyment of the manga. Another issue is that I felt the manga took about half of its time developing the two least interesting characters while skimped out on developing the more interesting ones. I would have loved to see more of the Hanamoto or Morita, but they were only really used to bring out the development of other characters. And this is done wit most of the side characters. I feel like the backstories of many of the more minor characters would have made a more interesting story than the main ones, but were relegated to being stepping stones to help other characters grow. Hagumi also has a surprising lack of development for being not only a main character, but the driving factor in three other characters's stories.
Overall though, this manga was one of the few that really made me think about what it had to say and what it meant to me. It had its fair share of flaws, but the things that it does well it really does well. It opens up questions for the reader to answer for their own lives: how will you live your life if you have outstanding talent or if you don't have any? How will you decide to live out your unrequited love, keep pushing or move on? How do you help those who are stuck in the past, push them forward or be there for them in the background? Definitely recommend if none of the gripes I had faze you at all
tl;dr- great story about character growth, but you gotta keep up with the winding story and think about it a bit after you read.
Also just gotta mention how similar this is to Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, from the setup to characters to major plot points, but this one is much better
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